TPPWatch Bulletin # 29

Next phase in the campaign: Countdown to May!!!!

The officials refuse to tell us when they will go to the government for new riding instructions, in particular what trade-offs they are prepared to make in advance of the supposed October summit of political leaders from all 11 TPPA countries. It seems logical it will happen before or after the May round in Peru. So we have made May the next target for campaigning and action, and are working on new resources and action plans.

Action strategies

The recent strategy meetings in Auckland and Wellington came up with great ideas. We will send around a specific action bulletin for you to sign up to specific tasks once the resources and sign up pages are ready. To give you a foretaste so you can think about what you could do as part of the campaign, we are planning:

Adopt an MP: People will take individual responsibility for an MP in their area, visit them with a questionnaire and information, arrange to collect it, post information about the MP on the facebook/website, and other action depending on where the MP stands ….

Recruit city councillors to sponsor TPPA-free zones: This worked successfully in the past and raised awareness at the local and regional government level. The Auckland City resolution is a start.

Rosters for talkback or blogs: A really effective way for individuals to make a difference.

Banner drops on motorway overbridges at peak hour: another simple action that four people can take on a regular basis to raise awareness. Banners can be provided.

Host a Cartoon Exhibition and activities: The cartoons are a great resource and three sets have been prepared for those who want to host exhibitions.

Nelson Cartoon exhibition launch Tues 19 March

The Cartoons from the Competition will be on show at Lambretta’s Café in Nelson from mid-March. Jane Kelsey will speak at the exhibition on 19 March at 6.30pm and present the winner’s award to Mike Moreu.

Health Professionals Letter to PM and Groser

In a great initiative from health practitioners, academics, smokefree groups and unions, more than 400 members of New Zealand’s medical community have signed a letter to the Prime Minister expressing their concerns over the impact of the TPPA on New Zealanders’ future health and, in particular, the Government’s stated goal of achieving a smokefree New Zealand by 2025. The press release was widely reported and Morning Report ran a story on 4 March. The PM has promised to respond ….

16th round begins in Singapore

Check tpp16.sg for parody versions of most of the essential pages on the USTR TPP website.

Referenda Action: TPPA - the Biggest Asset Strip of All!

The numbers are looking good for the asset sales referendum, even though the government is determined to ignore it and proceed. The links are clear between the privatisations and TPPA, especially how it will lock in the rights of foreign investors and give them the right to sue a future government that tries to reverse it. We will be developing resources for people to use during the lead-up to the referendum. Again, we will be seeking volunteers and ideas.

Big Tobacco is already sabotaging plain packaging, beware the TPPA!

The government announced that NZ will follow Australia in adopting plain packaging laws - but not until the legal challenges to Australia’s law are over. That buys National time in the hope they won’t still need the Maori Party after 2014 and can ditch the policy. Philip Morris has just got the investment tribunal hearing its case against Australia to defer the first, procedural hearing until February 2014. So this could drag on for years. By then, the TPPA will provide an even bigger gun for them to attack our Smokefree 2025 policy.

In Singapore, the tobacco control groups published a stunning graphic colour advert in the Straits Times calling for exclusion of tobacco products. They will host a major press conference on 5th.

Action in the US: Withering debunks of Obama’s 2012 Trade Report

Eyes on Trade has posted a withering assault on US President Obama’s annual trade policy report: “The Obama administration wants to send you a Used Trade Policy”.

Friends of the Earth US also condemned the Trade report, saying the negotiating framework for the deal ‘favors Wall Street and multinational corporations at the expense effective environmental and climate policy.’

Over 400 groups sent an open letter to Obama rejecting the anti-democratic nature of the negotiations and demanding that any agreement prioritise human and labour rights, respect local development goals and procurement policies, not treat corporations as equals to government, protect food sovereignty and access to affordable medicines, safeguard against currency manipulation, improve consumer and environment standards and ensure robust financial regulations and public services. Yeah, right!

US Labour calls for a New Trade Model

The AFL-CIO has issued an important new position statement calling for a new trade model that serves working families. “American working families need a game change—a high-road strategy that focuses on creating high-wage jobs, encouraging collective bargaining, implementing a strategic manufacturing policy and reinvesting in our infrastructure and our people.” Not just America …

Resources and media coverage:

Australian public health expert Deb Gleeson’s 30 minute webinar on u-tube with slides and commentary, sponsored by the Australian public health association

A blog from Jane Kelsey on the newly launched DailyBlog

Jane Kelsey pointed out that the realities of the delay on plain packaging tobacco.

Academic slams report PM used to claim $3.5 billion gains to NZ from TPPA

Please share TPPA activities or good articles:

Contact Edward Miller edwardcrmiller@gmail.com; Facebook page ItsOurFutureNZ; and website www.itsourfuture.org.nz

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